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Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Egyptian parliament urges gov't to prepare for return of ‘foreign fighters’,‘sleeper cells’

The speaker said a committee should be formed to look at ways the phenomenon can be eliminated

Gamal Essam El-Din , Sunday 20 Oct 2019
Parliament
A file photo of Egypt's Parliament (Photo: Reuters)
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The speaker of the Egyptian parliament, Ali Abdel-Aal, said in a Sunday morning session that the Egyptian government should raise the alarm about the phenomenon of "foreign fighters" who are currently involved in terrorist wars against the governments and national armies of Iraq, Syria and Libya.
 
"These kinds of foreign fighters, who are members of Daesh or other terrorist groups, could come back home or move to other fronts or work as sleeper cells, and the government should be ready to protect the country from this phenomenon," said Abdel-Aal.
 
According to Abdel-Aal, Egypt's battle against terrorism and terrorists should not be confined to armed struggle. "The battle should also include cultural, social and media elements to raise the awareness of the people of this dangerous phenomenon," said Abdel-Aal.
 
"I mean that all government authorities should prepare from now and join shoulders to safeguard the country from this big threat," said Abdel-Aal.
 
He proposed that a joint governmental-parliamentary committee be formed to seek new strategies that can help fight extremism, hate speech, and send early warning signals on the return of foreign fighters and sleeper cells, adding that "I will reveal later when and how this proposed committee will be formed."
 
In the meantime, Abdel-Aal decried the current Turkish military assault on northeastern Syria.
 
"In fact, the policies of the leadership of Turkey and its invading forces are barbaric and deserve the condemnation of all world countries because they violate international law and the UN charter," said Abdel-Aal.
 
Ahmed Raslan, head of the parliament’s Arab Affairs Committee, said the Turkish aggression against the sovereignty of Syria is "heinous and barbaric."
 
"This aggression represents the agenda of Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist organizations, which devastated many Arab countries and spread chaos," said Raslan, arguing that "Turkey and Qatar are primarily to blame for the proliferation of terrorism in the Arab world."
 
The session was attended by Bassam Darwish, Syria's ambassador to Egypt, and a delegation of Syrian MPs and officials. Speaker Abdel-Aal urged MPs to applaud in appreciation of the presence of the Syrian ambassador and delegation.
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